torsdag 27. januar 2022

A top US diplomat says Putin may think twice about invading Ukraine during the Winter Olympics to avoid angering Xi Jinping

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Wednesday suggested that Chinese leader Xi Jinping would be unhappy with Russian President Vladimir Putin if he invaded Ukraine during the Winter Olympics in Beijing next month.

"We all are aware that the Beijing Olympics are beginning on February 4th, the opening ceremony, and President Putin expects to be there. I think that probably President Xi Jinping would not be ecstatic if Putin chose that moment to invade Ukraine," Sherman said to a virtual chat hosted by the Yalta European Strategy, per Reuters. "So that may affect his timing and his thinking."

Amid escalating tensions with the West, Moscow and Beijing in recent years have strengthened ties and often side with one another on issues concerning the international community.

Since late 2021, Russia has gathered roughly 100,000 troops on Ukraine's border. The Kremlin claims it has no plans to invade, but has also rejected calls from Western leaders to pull the massive force away from the border with Ukraine. The White House over the past week has warned that a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be imminent.